Wonder & Whimsy: love and education

A weekly curation of quotations I come across in my reading life (or on random condiment jars) — from the inspirational to the miscellaneous. Perhaps one inspires you or catches your fancy too…

The rule of charity…

“Charity is certainly greater than any rule. Moreover, all rules must lead to charity. Since she is a noble mistress, we must do whatever she commands. With renewed devotion, then , we must serve the poor, especially outcasts and beggars. They have been given to us as our masters and patrons.” – St. Vincent de Paul (from a sermon on his memorial day in the OOR)

Love alone…

“It is love alone that gives worth to all things.” – St. Teresa of Avila

Education…

“Education is a creative activity with persons as its only possible object — only a person can be educated, an animal can only be trained — and also one which uses entirely human material; all that is by nature present in the human being to be educated is material for the educators, material which their love must find and mould.” – Karol Wojtyla (Love & Responsibility)

The Rule of Charity in Your Domestic Church

As in life, we all need rules in our homes. Everything and everyone would decend into chaos without them. So, as parents, we discern the best rules and routines to establish in our family life. No doubt we come up with good ones that serve admirable purposes. But it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that there is one rule that should govern and give meaning to all others — the rule of charity.

Love. “For the greatest of these is love,” writes the Apostle Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians. One of the reasons we establish rules in our households is to support the development of virtue in all its members. However, it is impossible to truly develop any other virtue without love. For as St. Paul says earlier in that same passage, though I may do any number of worthy things “but have not love, I am nothing.”

I recently came across these words of St. Vicent de Paul:

“Charity is certainly greater than any rule. Moreover, all rules must lead to charity.” (Epistle 2546)

I sat with these words for a moment, contemplating their relevance to my family’s life. Most of our rules and routines at home stem from a spirit of love. In fact, because we love our children we establish rules that will move them toward truth, goodness, and beauty. But I realize that in the middle of enforcing rules and the disciplining that comes when they are broken, I can often find myself removed from (dare I say in conflict with) the loving intentions that birthed the rules from the beginning. Continue reading “The Rule of Charity in Your Domestic Church”